I was reading an article the other day about the cumulative effect of “little stresses.” These are the dozen or so daily frustrations that enter into our lives and typically take the form of the dropped keys, misplaced cell phone, and spilled coffee trifecta.
If you’re like me, these annoyances usually occur in the five minutes before you leave your house in the morning and go something like this:
You give the five-minute warning: “We’re leaving in five minutes. Shoes. Socks. Coat. Let’s go!”
Your child “doesn’t hear” you because s/he’s lost in building a Lego masterpiece, which simply must be completed this morning.
You bark, “We’ve got to go. Save that for later! Move out!”
A few minutes later, as you’re finally making your way out the door, juggling a computer bag, a cup of coffee, and two lunches, you drop your keys. You let out an audible and wholly innocent “Aargh!”
You realize once you’ve made it to the car that you’ve left your phone on the kitchen counter. A real expletive follows. Your child warns, “Language, mom!”
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty solid when it comes to dealing with big drama—divorce, health scares, financial problems, even when the cable guy doesn’t show up. It’s these little irritating events that get under my skin, and that’s just, well, irritating.
“You dumb keys!”
If I could do one thing differently this year, I’d like to feel these little stresses differently. So starting this week, when I head back to work, instead of cursing (barely) under my breath, I’m going to channel a scene from 30 Rock, specifically “The Moms” episode, when guest star Buzz Aldrin asks Liz Lemon if she’d like to yell at the moon with him.
When I drop the keys—because I will—I’m going to pretend Buzz Aldrin is inviting me to yell at them, “Would you like to yell at your keys with Buzz Aldrin?”
It’s not remotely as funny as yelling at the moon with Buzz Aldrin, but it’s better than just being irritated, and it might go something like this:
“I own you, keys!”
“You don’t belong on the ground!”
“I drop you all the time!”
I don’t know about you, but I feel better already.